“It’s a great life if you don’t weaken”. I have heard this saying all my life. I have absolutely no clue who coined the phrase, and as of late, I really don’t think i understand it either. I mean, how is it a great life if you don’t weaken?
It’s been my experience that it is just as hard not weakening, as it is weakening. I also would say weakening or not weakening, neither is always easy or always hard. It really depends on the situation. For example it has been rather hard not weakening in relation to my custody negotiations. I am still waiting for that to all be resolved. That isn’t easy.
I haven’t blogged in a while. Partly due to various things happening and partly due to not being prompted to speak about anything. But, I decided that I should at the very least let those that actually read my blog, know that I am indeed still alive. The good Lord has not taken me yet.
So what’s been happening. Well for starters, I am still unemployed, and currently without income beyond my husbands. He has had to start working extra to try and keep up with things. I am still job hunting. I am also, trying to learn to do transcribing, so that I can make some money while at home.
I have been doing art and posting it on Redbubble and Pinterest. I figured maybe someone might like my art on a bag or pillow or whatever, and I am hopeful that due to Christmas I may have some sales. But, as always it’s all in the Lords hands. The picture attached to this blog is actually one I did one Saturday, with acrylic paint, and painting knives. It wasn’t until after that I decided it reminded me of a water scene. I really enjoyed not thinking about what the topic of my art was going to be before I did it.
Another thing that has been happening is that my weight is still coming down (I still have a long way to go to a healthy weight for my bone structure and height), and my many health issues are still getting better. A health issue I have dealt with most of my life may actually have a name, Rosacea. There are four types, and it appears I may have the type that causes your face, neck and ears to become “flushed”. Its as though you jogged, or were in the heat, or were very embarrassed, but with a lot of heat.
I get so hot during an episode, I sit with freezer packs in a cloth against my face. Here in Canada we are in Winter, and where I live it has been cold. So my poor husband has been having to turn the heat off, and sit wrapped in a blanket, while I sit with a tank top, yoga pants and freezer packs, trying to cool down. I was concerned it may be Menopause, but no other indications to point to that (happy about that).
Best of all, there is a cream that actually helps reduce, and sometimes stop these episodes, yay! Beyond these things, the Lord blessed us by fixing my car and my husbands truck, for now, and as always he seems to help us get food, heat and gas for the vehicles so we can do the things we need to.
A challenge for me recently has been that at my church there has been some upheaval. We had our two Pastors resign. Which in and of itself isn’t normally the end of the world. However in this case it was due to a select few making the decision to act on their personal beliefs that there were Pastoral issues. This was a decision made without any discussion with the main congregation. My view is that, there should have been a survey sent out to find out how people actually felt, and if the majority were happy, then those few people should have kept their view, as their own, and accepted that the congregation was getting something out of the Pastors leadership, and guidance.
But if they could not accept it they should have moved on to a different church. Not, impact the spiritual walk of those who were really positively being impacted by the Pastors. Which, when the news was announced was revealed to be a lot of the congregation. The people who decided are on what is called the “Board”. They are people who are supposed to represent the congregation. So, like a politician, they should do what the congregation wants, not make decisions, or take action based on their own desires. This has really challenged me and my husband. We actually thought of leaving the church. He still is. But, we are not convinced that is the right thing to do.
For my part I decided to voice my opinion in an email to the Head Bishop (not sure why they chose that title, as we are not Anglican or Catholic but I digress … ). He responded, but I won’t tell you all he said, except he stated, that the congregation needed to pray, and seek Gods wisdom and direction … I’m paraphrasing.
So we’ve been doing that. What has occurred to me and I keep reminding myself is that, the Lord is the Lord of everything. Period. He has divine control, and nothing in this world is outside of his knowledge. Does that mean all is great, all the time. No, because we have free choice, and like a human parent, he lets his children choose, even when the consequences are negative. But, when we ask his guidance, wisdom and help, he gives us what we need to get through. Do I understand why this happened in my church?
Well, my theory is it’s to shake those who are apathetic or are stuck in their walk, to be more involved and to take action in some way. I think it is our wake up call. If we don’t get it this time, it will be even louder next time.
Another, disturbing thing I heard on the news was that in Toronto, Canada. The United Church has made a decision to allow a minister who has said she is Atheist, to continue to minister at her assigned church. As the article and news reports have said, the United Church is saying this is to be “inclusive”, “to accept all, non-believers and believers” (again paraphrasing I don’t have the article in front of me right this second).
I was quite stunned when I learned this. I do not attend a United church. But, no matter the denomination, it seems to me you can’t effectively minister to believers when you don’t believe. I mean, we are not taking about a doubt in faith that she is working through. This woman has been an outspoken Atheist. Holding conferences, discussing it very openly. The only reason it came to a head, (so that the United Church had to decide what to do), is because she blogged, or twittered (or something) that Christianity causes violence (again not word for word, but that was the general comment).
Firstly, Christianity is inclusive and exclusive basically all at the same time. For example, anyone wanting to learn about Jesus, and God and the Holy Spirit are welcome, and if they decide they want to give their lives to Jesus, they are greeted by him lovingly, and completely. But, when you give your life to him, you are expected, to work on changing your behavior, and decisions to align with his word. We are expected to seek him out in all things, trust him, love him, put him above all others. It specifically states in the bible that if you don’t believe in Jesus, that he is the son of God, and that only through his blood are you forgiven, saved, given eternal life, then you are not able to be Christian, and part of the church. Nor are we to accept a person who doesn’t believe, as a teacher to us. It says that they are of the enemy. How much more non-Christian can you get than an Atheist?
An Atheist as a minister is like, a lawyer who doesn’t believe in the law or want to follow it, or a doctor who doesn’t think medicine works, and doesn’t want to follow medical practices. It doesn’t make sense, nor can they be separated. Especially when you are talking about spiritual matters. How can she be un-biased enough to help a person who is struggling, or doesn’t understand something or needs direction in a matter of their Christian walk, if she doesn’t believe anything about their faith?
I firmly believe we should allow and encourage those who are not Christian to hear the word. Sit in the congregation, read the bible, take it all in, because it may open their eyes and heart to the Lord. But, to have them guide people, to preach to them, teach them … no. I can see no way that her Atheist views wouldn’t color what she says and does. It already did, and that means those seeking her counsel will get a Atheist colored view of the Lord, his word, and Faith in general.
So, many challenging, difficult things happening these days. It is always hard to be a Christian, as it takes effort and internal strength. But, I think it’s getting harder. At least I see, more challenges. But, I also see more ways for God to show his glory, power, and love. I also see how he is in control even in the worst situations, and that is what gives me comfort and peace. Knowing he is in ultimate control is very reassuring. It doesn’t always make sense to me, but it does comfort and reassure me in troubled times. I hope it does you too.